Chemical Unzipping of WS<sub>2</sub> Nanotubes

WS<sub>2</sub> nanoribbons have been synthesized by chemical unzipping of WS<sub>2</sub> nanotubes. Lithium atoms are intercalated in WS<sub>2</sub> nanotubes by a solvothermal reaction with <i>n</i>-butyllithium in hexane. The lithiated WS<sub>2</sub> nanotubes are then reacted with various solventswater, ethanol, and long chain thiols. While the tubes break into pieces when treated with water and ethanol, they unzip through longitudinal cutting along the axes to yield nanoribbons when treated with long chain thiols, 1-octanethiol and 1-dodecanethiol. The slow diffusion of the long chain thiols reduces the aggression of the reaction, leading to controlled opening of the tubes.